Random Thoughts

Wednesday, March 05, 2008

So annoying

Why do couples go out to eat together and then sit next to each other? I mean, there is a whole other seat on the other side of the table/booth. Do you NEED to sit thigh-to-thigh in order to enjoy each other's company? Wouldn't you like to see the person you are talking to? Or even have more elbow room as you eat? Can't you be more than and inch apart? Will your relationship fall apart without constant contact? And if that is the case, can't you touch knees or feet or something under the table? That always worked for me. I don't know why this annoys me so much, but it does. I want to walk up to everyone that I see do this (like the couple across the restaurant right now) and explain the concept of eye contact and proper conversation to them. Ewww!! They are so close to each other's faces right now that I could yak! WHY!?!??! People are trying to eat here. This is a family place! And, yes, this did bother me even when I wasn't single, so this isn't the despirate ranting of a bitter single girl. Raaarr!

Ok, that's just what I wanted to say about that.

Saturday, February 24, 2007


I truly feel that I have posted this before, but maybe not. A few months ago, my pastor included in his sermon a point about how when we are young we want to grow up, but when we are grown we don't want to be children ever again. I have to disagree.

I would give almost anything to return to my 4th year of life. My parents were still married; not that I want them to get back together. It was just an easier time because I had never heard of or imagined that parents wouldn't be together. I spent most of my days with my grandmother (who passed on when I was a freshmen in high school), playing and laughing and watching too much TV. My cousin Alison would stay with us after school and then I had someone to play with.

On my mom's days off, we would play outside, getting a tan or something, until her Soaps came on, which we watched together (I was way too young to understand the sketchiness of it all). She would lay in the backyard on an old patchwork quilt and I would play. I could never lay there with her for very long. I would ask "How long until the shows come on?" about every other minute. My dad would often pick me up from my grandmother's house and we would go home and watch TV (Star Trek and Batman were the ones I remember most) or sometimes he would buy me root beer and mini hamburgers. Sometimes I got to spend the night with my grandparents and that was always fun. And I saw my cousins at least once a month for family birthday celebrations. I had tons of little toys that I loved: Heman, Thundercats, My Little Pony, sock monkeys, Care Bears, and so many more. We didn't have a lot of money, but I had no idea. I was happy.

Sometimes, my dad and I would go fishing in this little pond that someone he knew owned. He would bait my hook and cast for me, and I would catch so many little blue gills. He usually let me catch more than him so that I felt good about myself. We had this big black walnut tree and Daddy would take a hammer and crack some of the walnuts open so that I could eat them. He built me a swing set, too. I think it was only one or two swings, but I loved it. And I had a big wheel. I used to ride it around in circles in the back yard when the weather was nice and I dragged it up on the L-shaped porch when it rained.

We had this really long driveway, so it was an event to walk to get the mail. Our house was on the top of this hill in a valley of sorts and it had the best echo. You could stand on the porch and shout at yourself. I loved to show other people the echo. We even used to walk the hills behind our house and cut our own Christmas tree.

I remember that Christmas. I got a My Kid Sister, who I named Rachel, a tent club house that I played with forever, and this little stool with my name painted on the top and a bunny, I think.

I know it all sounds a little Laura Ingles, but I was very happy. And it really was like that. When you're 4, you don't pay attention to how much money you have or what kind of clothes the other kids at the store are wearing. Everyone loves you and wants to know you. All of your ideas seem real and your dreams are attainable. Everything is an adventure and laughter comes so easily. When you fall, someone picks you up and dusts you off and you always have enough hugs and kisses.

That year is covered in sunshine in my memory. Sunshine and laughter and smiles.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

My true love. . .for now.

This is for Justin (meaning that I am updating my blog, not that he is my true love).

As I sit here drinking my caramel hot chocolate and eating my brownie bites, I realize that I am truly in love with chocolate. Now, those of you who know me will not be surprised by this statement, but I think that it is true on a different level than others who say they love chocolate. I am not one of those women who search out its dark comfort in a moment of depression or disappointment or those who only allow themselves to partake in times of celebration. I, however, am not so limited in my appreciation of the blessing that is chocolate. Granted, I am slightly a snob about it. I prefer dark chocolate, not that too-sweet-faker milk chocolate, though I do see the possible uses of this paler cousin to my beloved.

I will eat chocolate at almost any time of the day, no matter the mood I am in. Even if I am stuffed full I will accept at least a taste of my dearest chocolate. Dessert is not truly dessert if chocolate is not involved. Now, I will eat the "dessert" should it have strawberries, apples, or raspberries even when there is a decided lack of chocolate. But I always miss it when it isn't there.

I think one of the nicest complements that could be paid me is to say that my hair is "chocolate brown." I'm sure that the decorators definition does not match my particular hair color, but the point still stands. Maybe when I am proposed to, the ring will somehow come with/in/surrounded by chocolate. That would get a yes!!

Thursday, November 16, 2006


I was listening to some sermons and services from my church website yesterday and one of those was from our Sunday evening contemporary service. Cindy, our worship leader, was speaking of how some childish things need to be put away, such as "night-nights." You know, that blankey you always kept near you as a child or your favorite teddy bear. And I was thinking as she spoke about this that I don't recall having a "night-night" of my own. I traveled a lot as a child, back and forth between my parents and sometimes to my cousins' house, but I don't remember a specific object that I just had to have at all times. Maybe events in my life had taught me not to hold on to things or even people, which is sad but possibly the answer to why I didn't have a special thing.

And then today I was discussing some favorite books with the girls in the lab and Madeleine L'Engle came up (she wrote A Wrinkle in Time among others) and I started searching online for quotes by her. I found on from A Wind in the Door, one of my favorite books that she wrote, and I realized that I miss my books. Many of the books I read as a child are still at my mother's house, just waiting for me to pack them up and find a place for them in my apartment. And reading this quote showed me that my books are my "night-night."

Even if I know that I will not have the chance to read when I go on a trip, I take at least one book. They are all over my house. When I had my surgery and was completely not in control of my life, I read almost 10 books. I almost never part with the books I have and have only recently begun to let friends borrow them. I couldn't even pass on my childhood books to my brother. I insisted that he get his own. Maybe not the best move to get nominated for sister of the year, but still, that was how I felt about it.

Books are my comfort. The books I choose to read allow me to escape to a place where my problems no longer exist. For the length of time that I am reading that book, I am not myself, not dealing with the confusing world around me. I am a disembodied observer of the lives of characters created by someone else. I still run to a book when things are rough. If my day was terrible, I let myself read until I fall asleep. I should be cleaning or working on papers for school, but I must read; I must do something completely unrelated to myself.

I have very recently found the joy in sharing special books with friends and family. Those books that changed me or comforted me the most have been able to do the same for those I care about. And that has made a difference to me, to see the way others enjoy what has brought so much happiness to me. But I still miss my books when they are gone and long to have them back on my shelf just waiting for me to pick them up again.

Tuesday, November 14, 2006

A Dream is a Wish Your Heart Makes?

Through conversations with other people and the ever accurate televisions shows, I have discovered that perhaps I do not dream like other people do. I have never dreamed that I was flying or falling or being chased by someone I couldn't see. I don't think any of my dreams have been in black and white. I remember at least one dream from every night's sleep; if I slept long and well enough to dream, that is. They are vivid and very realistic to me.

Sometimes I am lucky enough to have a dream that fits Cinderella's definition of a dream. The prince (whichever one it might be at that time ;)) is mine and we are very happy. But more often than not, my dreams are ones I would rather not have. Either I'm not with the man I wish to be, or I am fighting with someone, or, like last night, I have a nightmare.

Now, I caught myself thinking, "Why can't we stop having nightmares when we grow up?" But then, that would mean only children would have nightmares and I truly wish that they didn't. So, can't we just get rid of them all together? I realize that the answer is no, but it's a nice thought.

I actually wish that we could chose our dreams; that our daydreams could be played out in our heads as we sleep. We could escape from all the bad things and just live in our custom-made dream world until the alarm sounded. No one chasing us, no mistaken identities, no rejections. And then, if I wanted, I could fly.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Playing Dress-up

As I was walking in to work today in my Mad Hatter costume, I thought, how nice is it that we can all get another chance once a year to play dress-up. I played dress-up a lot as a kid and then again when my brother and sister were little. Sometimes, my friends would come over and they would get in on it, too. I think Halloween, for lots of people, doesn't have to do with witch craft and trouble, but with a chance to be childlike for a day. It is completely acceptable to act ridiculous and blame it on Halloween. I am so blessed to be in a lab that actively participates every year in dressing up, even to the point of deciding on a group theme for the entire lab. It makes you smile and laugh and others who see you get a little enjoyment out of it, as well.

Some people have lost touch with this inner child, I believe. And that makes me really sad for them. I've been realizing that I am not growing up the older I get, at least not entirely, but I am growing younger and more childlike. And it's wonderful! I appreciate children so much for the way they see the world and the way their imaginations are so powerful. In some ways I missed my own childhood so I'm trying to hold on to those childlike qualities I find in myself. Luckily for me, Christ asked us to come to him as a child. With childlike faith that He can handle everything.

Days like this remind me of that. Dressing up reminds me of the imagination and pure belief that children have.

Happy Halloween.

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

The Mountains

I have never in my life been homesick. Not even my first day of college; not the first night I stayed by myself in my new apartment. Never. But, sometimes, and only in the fall, I get a longing to be home in Knoxville. To be within sight of the Smokies, to see the changing leaves and feel the cool air. Fall even smells better in the mountains.

My dad told me once that he could never live in Indiana (note: my step-mother grew up in Indiana and her parents lived there for a time after she and my father married). I asked him why, knowing that it probably didn't have anything to do with being away from me; he had no real reason to move. He said it was because the land was too flat, that he couldn't stand to be away from the mountains and hills of Tennessee. At the time, I was around 12 maybe, I didn't understand. I thought that was a silly reason to not want to live somewhere. But now I see. I understand. While you're there, you can take for granted the skyline filled with hills and mountains that you see from your back door every morning. You take for granted that the valleys will fill with fog and hold it until past noon when the sun finally can burn it away. The way the mountain tops turn purple and blue as the autumn sun goes down. And most beautiful are the leaves. One morning you get up, and you realize that God has painted the entire world around you with fire. And the wind may be cool, but everything looks so warm with the heat of those colors.

Every fall that I was at Furman, I would get excited to drive home one weekend and be surrounded by the changing leaves as I drove through the mountains to get from Greenville to Knoxville. And that is what fall came to mean to me: that drive through those leaves. And as I attempted to plan my life for this semester, I realized that I may not get that drive this year. Thanksgiving is the next time that I will be in Knoxville. I can only hope and pray that God lets the weather stay warm enough to push back the change of leaves until I can make it. I'll be in Greenville in a few weeks and maybe I'll see some color when I'm there, but it's not the same. I crave that long drive into my mountains.